How To Structure Sponsored Content Campaigns

Author note: this is part 2 in a series about how to get started with sponsored content campaigns in order to drive sales, eyeballs and clicks to your website. For part 1, check out Getting Started With Sponsored Content.

The best practices for structuring a sponsored content campaign on each network are slightly different; however, there are some key things to get right that work across the board from my experience over the past four years running sponsored content campaigns.

Each campaign should be set up following some guidelines:

  • One piece of content per campaign
  • One device per campaign
  • One country per campaign
  • Limit to 5 -15 ads per campaign
  • Test 3 headline angles (ie none of them use the same words)
  • Test 5 different images with each headline

A few extra tips for effective testing & tracking:

  • The image is more important than the title to grab attention
  • Use Google Analytics to track post click performance
  • Track campaign name, source (ad network name), and the publisher site
  • Outbrain has publishers and sections, track both
  • Revcontent has Channels and widgets, track both
  • Taboola just has sites for tracking / blocking / bid modifying

Optimizing Sponsored Content Campaigns

This could be an article on it’s own so I will just give you the major items to check. The biggest mistake I see is people optimizing way too early. They cut off volume before even having enough data to make a proper decision.

Here is my testing approach:

  • Wait three days, if you don’t get clicks. Start over
  • Create a new campaign if no traction
  • Try new images & titles for the same piece of content
  • Do not add new ads to an unsuccessful campaign
  • Repeat this until you can get 50–100 clicks per day at a minimum
  • Once something takes off, wait a week before optimizing and blocking
  • Pause all ads except your top one. Two at most
  • Re-create other ads in a new campaign

A few extra tips for success:

  • Keep testing, sometimes it takes several tries, especially when you are starting
  • Continuously check competitive intelligence tools to see new advertisers & angles
  • Try out zip code targeting for local campaigns (Outbrain & Yahoo Gemini)
  • Use City or State names in your ad headlines using macros (Outbrain & Revcontent)
  • Use to simplify creating ad variations, analyzing performance & optimizing campaigns

Now go out there and crush your traffic and sales goals using sponsored content. Right now, the price is cheap compared to Google and Facebook. That won’t last much longer as more advertisers jump on board to drive new customer acquisition.

This post was written by Mark Simon, co-founder of of, a platform that helps performance marketers scale, automate and simplify native advertising.